The Ethiopian diasporas are encouraged to invest in their country


Navigating the globe helps prosperous nations on the forefront of progressive life and also helps them to produce a huge impact and even to defend their national interest as they can learn from various cultures of doing business and easing obstacles through exchanging knowledge, sharing experience and scaling up best practices.

As exposure helps human being in better step of a ladder in life, the diaspora community is a self-made and responsive for possible risks encountered, it managed life making balance between insecurity and custody of mind. Taking this into account, Statespersons of Ethiopia called on the diaspora community to participate on endeavors of their country and the later reacted for the call with enthusiasm which never seen in the history of the country’s recorded relation between the two.

The government is trying its level best to create close relationship with the diaspora community so that they could participate in the nation’s political and economic development. After his power assumption in 2018, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed went to the US and Europe and made discussions with Ethiopian citizens and foreign born Ethiopians on various issues.

In addition, the widening of the political landscape attracted citizens here and in abroad to engage in the nation’s various affairs.

The improving relation between the government and the diaspora can be said instrumental to increase remittance and boost the nation’s foreign currency earning capacity. The recently started “No More” movement ignited by the diaspora all over the world brought tremendous results in changing wrong perception of some western powers towards Ethiopia and constructing positive image.

Hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians resided in foreign countries came here to respond to the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s call for celebrating Ethiopian holidays, Genna (Christmas) and Timket (Epiphany). Taking the situation as an opportunity, various government institutions with the cooperation of the Industry Parks Development Corporation devised investment forum and explained their preparedness to accommodate their business venture to the diaspora.

On the occasion, the State Minister of Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Redwan Husein appreciated the diaspora for their diplomatic achievement and said that victory achieved in the diplomatic sphere will be sustainable when it is supported by economic gains.

He further said that as long as the economy is impacted upon foreign aid, the political challenge and diplomatic pressure the nation currently faced might be continued in one way or another. Therefore, the diaspora movement which is going on in the political sphere should be replicated in the economic front.

More than 800 Diasporas have attended the forum and discussed the investment plans presented by the Ministries of Health, Transport and Logistics, Industry, Trade and regional integration as preliminary sectors. Equals to these, the investment ventures focused on agriculture, tourism and industrial parks’ developments have given emphasis.

The health sector investment plan was presented by the Minister of Health Dr. Liya Tadesse. As to the Minister, over the preceding years, the health sector was preoccupied by preventing communicable diseases, reducing maternal mortality and child morbidity rates.

She further said that, due to the shortage of health professionals and hospitals, Ethiopians have been forced to go to foreign countries to get the service and annually spend hundreds of million Dollar. Hence, by taking the situation as good opportunity, the diaspora can fill the gap through investing in the health sector.

Currently, 85 percent of medicines and health facilities are imported from oversea market. Hence, if the diaspora invest in the sector, they can substitute the import, save hard currency, tap the market and create job opportunities to the citizenry. She further said that Kilinto Industrial Park is prepared to accommodate investment ventures that focus on health.

By the same token, Minister of Transport and Logistics, Dagmawit Moges, on her part explained about the investment options focus on logistics. As to her, according to a study report of World Bank, the Ethiopian logistics is ranked to 126th out of 160 countries in doing business. Aiming to improve this rank and obtain better benefit, the government of Ethiopia has planned to reach to the 40th level in the coming 10 years. To that end, detailed studies are conducted and policy and strategic documents are ratified.

However, As to Dagmawit, to accomplish the plan, the project needs 3 trillion Birr. Therefore, in order to meet the budget deficit, the government foresees the private sector fills the gap and invests on the project.

She further said that opportunities are created to the diaspora to involve in the investment ventures such as transporting solid and liquid freights, construction of dry ports and cargo terminals which are more feasible.

Melaku Alebel, Minister of Industry, on his part displayed about the manufacturing sector. As to him, in Ethiopia, the contribution of the manufacturing industry to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is 6.9 percent and it is below the average level in Africa which is 10 percent.

Hence, as to him, it is lucrative to the diaspora to invest on agribusiness which utilizes agricultural products as input hugely. He also said that they can particularly focuses on building industrial plants working in food processing, food production and animal husbandry and in such a way they can create wealth to the nation and to themselves as well. He also announced that four coordinated industrial parks are already established to host the investment engaged on agribusiness.

He further said that, the garment and textile sector has also showed high increment and the government is prioritizing the sector. Investing on leather and leather products is also lucrative.

The government of Ethiopia underlined the value of the manufacturing sector for transforming the economy and achieving structural reform. Hence, it has invested on industrial parks’ expansion and developing other infrastructures to facilitate the venture. To further strengthen the investment venture, enhancing the energy development manifested by the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) is nearing its completion. Incentives provided to the manufacturing sector have in turn reinforced other sectors.

When the government institutions displayed the investment options to the diaspora, they also explained the country’s geographical landscape, the abundant human resource that can be employed, the African regional trade convention which will be opened in the near future create huge opportunities to the investors. In addition to these, the measures that have been taken to improve the business policies help to conduct things in simplified manner.

The attendee diaspora on their part said that they have plenty of experience in doing business but mentioned their concern that the bureaucratic hurdles in the country are still rampant. They further said that government officials do not act professionally rather they are prioritizing their political appointment. The diaspora also said that they have doubt whether the situation is deterred or not in the near future.

They cited the land issue as the case in point in this regard. The authority to provide land plot to investors is given to the cabinet of the city administration rather than to the investment commission and such situation hinders the commission’s capacity to meet the investors’ demand.

They also raised questions with regard to providing compensation to investors who lost their properties when conflicts were breakout in various parts of the country in the near past. They also asked how far the government is ready to provide compensation to investors in cause their property is demolished due to any kind of violence and political upheaval in the future.

Responding to the raised questions, the Minister of Industry Melaku Alebel said that improper service provision is the main hurdle to investment activities and rampant from top to the bottom of government structures and the problem emanates not because the officials are politically appointed rather due to the established system.

He further said that, diaspora live in the countries where better infrastructures and systems are established can stretch their hands to help taking place better system in their country. He also advised them to withstand whatever problems they face and do their business here.

Regarding investment attraction so far, Lelise Neme, Commissioner of Investment on her part said that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that worth 1.34 billion Dollar could be lured only in the last five months. She further expressed her optimism that at least 50 percent of the 800 diaspora who participate the investment forum will invest here in Ethiopia.



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